Why a new sheriff of Kern County, CA could be on his way to California
The Associated Press article By LAURA BRANDENBERGThe Associated PressPublished Mar 07, 2017 07:05:53A new sheriff is on his ways to California.
Bakersfield is in the midst of a population boom.
A new sheriff, he’s said, is what’s needed to get the city back on its feet.
It’s a bold promise.
But in the eyes of some in Kern County’s business community, it’s a tough call.
So far, Kern County has had only one other sheriff, and the new one is expected to be an easy win for Democrats.
The new sheriff will replace retired county sheriff Robert Breslin.
The first time the county had a new one in decades was in 1997.
It was a long time ago.
Kern County Sheriff Jim Fain has had a rough few months.
He resigned his post on April 30.
His successor has faced criticism for an abrupt dismissal of several deputies.
Fain said the deputies who resigned were on leave, and his department has taken steps to make sure the process is transparent and fair.
But the political establishment of Kern’s biggest city, Fresno, is pushing for a new hire.
The mayor and county executive, Scott Flanders, say they are pushing for the new sheriff because Kern County is in a state of crisis and needs help.
Kern County voted to increase its debt limit in November, and that led to some businesses shutting down.
That triggered a property tax increase, and then a lawsuit filed by a business owner who said the county is violating his property rights by increasing the tax.
The case was settled in March.
The county council, the most powerful body in Kern, voted last week to remove Fain from office.
It did so despite Fain’s refusal to resign.
Fain said he was doing his job and did not resign because he believed his actions were in the best interest of the community.
He said he had made the decision to stay on because he had to.
He says he’s not sure what he will do now, though he’s open to taking on other responsibilities.
Fains says he is not afraid of a challenge from the local Democratic Party.
He also says he has never run for public office, though his wife is.
Fains said he has not made any decisions about a bid for the Democratic nomination.
Bret Holcomb, a political science professor at Fresno State University, said the town is very conservative and doesn’t want a sheriff who is more of a liberal than the current sheriff.
Holcomb said Kern’s conservative political culture is also part of its reason for appointing the new chief.
It is because the town does not have a lot of elected officials, and there is a lot more money in the county treasury.
Holcom said there’s no question that the county council wants a sheriff with strong conservative credentials.
Breslin had been serving as sheriff for six years, but he resigned in April after a police officer was shot and killed in the town of Tustin.
Breshlin said he decided to step down because of concerns about a recent vote by the town’s Democratic-leaning mayor to increase the tax levy.
The city’s council voted last month to raise the levy, and it passed the legislation after a public hearing.
The new levy is $10.60 a month.
The tax hike was a shock for many Kern residents, and some were upset with the move, Holcomb said.
The mayor of Tucson, a town of 5,000 people, voted to raise her levy to $9.50 a month, a move that prompted a call from the mayor’s office for the city to remove Breslen from office for violating the city charter.
The Democratic-majority county council voted to remove him from office last week, saying the new levy was a violation of the city’s charter.
Bregans decision to leave office angered the town council, and they demanded a replacement for Fain.
Fires departure was followed by an angry call from local Democrats who called on him to resign and asked him to take a leave of absence from the county.
Faint, who had been in the job for more than four years, said he would take the job if asked.
He was not.
Fears over Fains leadership of Kern grew as he was forced to resign after a local prosecutor accused him of sexual harassment.
The local prosecutor, Barbara D. Smith, said in a statement that Fain and others in Kern had engaged in inappropriate behavior with women and others, including with a deputy.
The sheriff said he did nothing wrong and he never acted inappropriately.
Smith said in her statement that she would have terminated the sheriff if she had known about his conduct.
Fears resignation was announced Wednesday, the same day he was asked to step aside.
Smith, who is black, is white, and her statement sparked a firestorm on social media.
Many Kern residents took to social media